For healthy people, the spleen is usually small enough that it can't be felt when you press on the abdomen. But certain diseases can cause the spleen to swell to several times its normal size. An enlarged spleen, also called splenomegaly, does not cause many symptoms, and the symptoms that it does cause may be mistaken for many other medical conditions.
Symptoms of an enlarged spleen are usually not very specific but can include fullness or pain in the upper left abdomen or back. Because the enlarged spleen lies next to the stomach and sometimes presses against it, you may have a full feeling in your stomach, whether you've eaten or not. You might also experience back pain that can spread to the left shoulder, especially if parts of the spleen do not get enough blood and start to die.
A swollen spleen is vulnerable to rupturing (bursting). And if the spleen ruptures, it can cause a huge amount of blood loss. Therefore, it's advised that you seek attention from your doctor right away if pain in your upper left abdomen is severe or gets worse when you take a deep breath.
Pain in the left abdomen under the ribs one of the first signs that you may be experiencing trouble with your spleen. An enlarged spleen has many possible causes, and requires medical diagnosis. To learn more about what these causes are, and how to diagnose an enlarged spleen, keep reading.
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